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Career management

RIASEC in depth, part 5: Are your employees Enterprising?

eye 1191 Published on 17 Jun. 2016
tag #HR advice #Potential identification

An enterprising person is defined by the dictionary as resourceful, bold and initiative — But an Enterprising personality defined by RIASEC model is much more than that.

Holland’s RIASEC model puts forward that personality is key to understand work interests and it divides people into six personality-based groups, one of them being Enterprising. He also states that individuals belonging to these personality groups have a preference for certain types of tasks and interactional styles, knowledge of which shall allow you to quickly determine any individual’s career fit.

Identifying your employee or candidate’s enterprising traits gives you insight into whether they suit the job role, their suitability for an internal promotion, let's say to a managerial position, also which tasks they should take up within a team.

Signs of an Enterprising

These dynamic and status-driven people are also known as Persuaders. They possess the innate willingness to take initiatives, and ability to motivate and lead. Assertive by nature, they value competition and tend to be risk-takers.

Want to find out if some of your employees are Enterprising? Ask yourself:

  •  Are they self-driven and motivated by winning, more than anything else?
  •  Do they learn fastest by doing?
  •  Do they always take the initiative?

If you answered yes to all three, the chances are high that they are.

What roles are suited for the Enterprising?

These individuals find leadership and entrepreneurial roles most attractive and fulfilling. They are also most inclined to take up freelance work, particularly within journalism or artistic fields. Due to their great ability to persuade, they are also are often drawn to negotiation, meaning that they do well in roles of sales, purchasing, or even law.

For a nuanced understanding of your Enterprising employees, you should look at their combined profile.

The 5 Kinds of Enterprising

  •  Enterprising/Realistic (E/R): Impulsive and action-orientated, these individuals dislike long speeches and are drawn to technical and manual roles. Put them in technical project management and their team shall exceed targets.
  •  Enterprising/Investigative (E/I): These energetic and investigative people mix knowledge and persuasion to strong effect. Do you have a tricky contract to negotiate? Allocate it to an E/I.
  •  Enterprising/Artistic (E/A): Independent and creative, these individuals can make quickfire, innovative decisions. Need someone to manage crisis communications? Find an E/A.
  •  Enterprising/Social (E/S): These friendly, people-oriented individuals possess good communication skills. Is work atmosphere important to your talent and people management strategy? Find managers who are E/S.
  •  Enterprising/Conventional (E/C): These methodical people value concrete goals and clearly defined frameworks. Precision is important to them, lending them exceptional ability to assess technical data and statistics. Need a financial manager? An E/C may be your best choice.

Countering Investigative situations: How Enterprising can thrive in different settings

Enterprising know how to take action and motivate people, the combination of which can surely reinvigorate stagnant projects.

Yet when faced with a long project that can’t be sped up, competitive and action-orientated Enterprising people may see their motivation levels fall. They should remember that, sometimes, you cannot see dramatic success on a daily basis, and focus on the long-term instead.

Similarly, these smooth-talking people shouldn't rely solely on their persuasive abilities; they should remember to also have the necessary facts and data to support themselves – even if obtaining that information might slow the project down a little. The combination of compelling facts and their eloquent speech can make a powerful argument.
“Fit” is one of the most popular words in HR, and for all good reason. In a position with a poor fit, Enterprising may feel stifled. Yet in the right position, these dynamic and charismatic people can lead the way in creating innovative solutions, exceeding targets, and successfully manage high performing teams.

Sonal Khaira

Former Training & Consultant Psychologist

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